Vaccination programme in Belgium is still on schedule says Head of Vaccination Task Force

Belgium’s Vaccination Task Force has given an update on the vaccination campaign here. The Task Force’s Chairman Dirk Ramaekers says that the vaccination campaign is still on schedule. Mr Ramaekers told Saturday afternoon’s press conference that “It is sometimes said that we are suffering huge delays. However, we are still following our original planning schedule that was drawn up at the start of the year”.  

According to that schedule the vaccination of those over 65 was to have started this month, as has been the case. Next month the vaccination will commerce of those under 65 that have underlying medical issues. Mr Ramaekers said that by 2 April all the necessary data will have been grouped to allow the regional authorities to send out the vaccination invitations to those with underlying medical conditions in mid-April.

Despite still being on schedule, the Vaccination Task Force has concerns about the unpredictability of supplies of coronavirus vaccine. “With Pfizer we are pretty certain that the vaccines that have been promised for the next few months will be delivered and possibly even a little more. But with AstraZeneca deliveries are still highly variable”.  

On Monday 259,000 doses of the AstraZeneca should be delivered to Belgium. In the two weeks that follow just 66,000 doses per week of the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceuticals company’s vaccine will arrive here. The fluctuation in supplies of the vaccine makes life very difficult for those involved in planning the vaccination programme on the ground. "Up until now AstraZeneca has supplied just half of the vaccines that had been promised”, Mr Ramaekers said.

During next month a total of 2 million coronavirus vaccines are expected to arrive in Belgium. Of these 100,000 will be from the US pharmaceuticals giant Johnson & Johnson.


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